30 Nov 2015

Monochromes in old Bangkok (Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 2015)

Last Saturday, 3rd of October, Scott Kelby organized its annual Worldwide Photowalk, one of the biggest photographic events of the year, with tens of cities and thousands of photographers taking part in it across the Globe. It had been raining the whole week (we were at the last weeks of the monsoon season in Thailand at that point), but that Saturday was surprisingly sunny, so there was no reason to stay at home. At 3pm in the afternoon, as scheduled, a very generous group of walkers gathered in Hualampong Train Station and, after the mandatory greetings and group picture, the walk began. I carried my usual set of 2 cameras with 2 primes (a wide angle and a short telephoto), and I decided I would be shooting exclusively monochromes that day, since I hadn't done that for quite a while and the old quarters we were going to visit seemed perfect for that style.

I wish, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Different ways of waiting, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
The plaza I, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
The Plaza II, GH3 + Panasonic Leica 42.5mm
Looking in, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Camouflage, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
It was late afternoon, so we encountered many static scenes, empty lanes and quiet alleys along the walk, with people dozing in their open-door homes or outdoors, under the shades provided by the trees; however, those streets host a very healthy workshop community, so movement was also present everywhere we went to, with one common denominator: since most of the alleys are very narrow and full of sharp corners, motorbikes were ubiquitous.

Public restroom, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Junction, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Still movement, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Apetizer on the bike, GH3 + Panasonic Leica 42.5mm
The hump, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Like it usually happens in this kind of events, we all started as a group, but our personal interests guided us in divergent directions and we slowly drifted away from one another. In the end, I was completely by myself, strolling along those labyrinthine roads while the sunset approached and countless more souls started appearing from all places. Walking some more without direction, I managed to find the way back to the station somehow, and that ended the photowalk. It was dark outside already, so i packed my cameras, grabbed some food, and let the underground swallow me to bring me back home.

Gear, GH3 + Panasonic Leica 42.5mm
Rooftop lake, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm

29 Oct 2015

500px Global Photo Walk 2015: Bangkok 3.0

Last Saturday, 26th of September, the famous photography site 500px held its third annual Global Photo Walk in many cities around the world and, as it has become a tradition already, Bangkok was one of them. The day awoke sunny and with a clear sky after a full week of rain and storms, so the excitement started to grow as the afternoon was drawing closer and the time to meet people who I had not seen since last year's outing, along with some new faces, approached. I was anxious and couldn't wait for the appointed time to arrive, so I decided to start the walk on my own a bit earlier; therefore, and after a generous lunch, I started the stroll along the railtracks towards my destination, warming up the camera along the way.

Spinning, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Delay, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Arches that hide, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
The meeting point was Makkasan Train Station, a place I had not visited for quite some time, so it was the perfect ground to start our group walk. We waited for a while until the small gang was formed and, although we were less than last year, the atmosphere between all of us was great, full of camaraderie. Giving the late comers some more time to arrive, we awaited while shooting the station grounds, always interesting and filled with countless details and subjects to focus on.

The Bangkok 500px GPW 2015 Gang, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Break time, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Pushing, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm

Inside out, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Not yet, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Duty, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Not long after after, the real walk started and we stepped into the old railtracks, bordered on both sides by a humble community of people of all sorts and ages that were always eager to smile at us and interact with us in a very friendly manner. They were the kids, however, the ones who embraced our presence more willingly, chasing us and demanding lots of attention, and our small group couldn't resist the temptation to play with them and have some fun, while at the same time teaching them some very basic notions about photography. There is nothing better than curiosity to learn!

The line, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
The group, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Multiple sources of interest, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
It had rained the night before, so the floor was muddy and full of puddles at times, so we advanced slowly along the tracks, but we enjoyed every meter of our march and kept finding and chatting with other people who lived in the neighborhood, all of them going ahead with their usual daily routines, totally unperturbed by our respectful intrusion.

The game, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm 
Not alone, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Suddenly, and before any of us could realize, night had fallen upon us and the narrow tracks became quite dark, punctuated only by the bulbs of the neighbors who lived there, but we still stayed for a while longer, walking slowly towards the end of the itinerary, taking any chance to merge with the locals and observe how they have adapted to live in such a curious place. And, as it always happens when you are enjoying, we reached the end of the walk before we wanted. Some of the walkers still stayed for a few drinks at a street market nearby, but I had to leave since I had other appointment later on. Thanks everybody for a lovely afternoon, and see you again, if not earlier, at next year's walk!

Breeze, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
The workshop, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Somebody's dinner, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Living on the edge, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm